UC Davis made No. 12 California work hard for the NorPac Conference win on Friday night in Berkeley.
The Aggies fought valiantly and got to within one goal late in the match, but the Golden Bears were able to pull away for the 3-1 win.
With the loss, UC Davis moves to 3-9 for the year and 1-2 in NorPac play.
The Bears and Aggies had nearly identical statistics. Cal had an 11-9 advantage on shots but UC Davis put seven of its attempts on goal, two more than the Bears. The Aggies also held an advantage in penalty corners 5-4.
“I’m so proud of how we played,” said Head Coach Vianney Campos. “We were connecting passes, defending well, putting shots on cage, but they are a good team and find a way to score.”
Cal scored off a penalty corner just before halftime, and added another just a couple of minutes into the second half.
Emily Mecke scored in the 65th minute to bring UC Davis within a goal, but the Golden Bears were able to hold off the attack and add a late score.
The Aggies also had a goal taken away on a questionable call when the referee ruled the ball hit a player on its way into the cage.
“It’s unfortunate, but what are you going to do? We just keep playing, control possession and finish. We’re hungry and so close we just have to keep fighting,” Campos added.
UC Davis will face conference foe No. 9 Stanford in Palo Alto on Friday, and then return to Davis for a rematch against Cal on Sunday.
RUSSELL EISENMAN can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.